Reunion 2006 Guestbook

From Don Hallock – 1/06/2006

Hi comrades,

I would like to initiate the Reunion Bulletin Board with an idea about which I feel many of us would share considerable enthusiasm. It would be my image of an almost sacred moment to share a visit to the site of the “New Facility” with the rest of us old-timers, and interested middle- and later-timers as well. For me (and, I suspect, most of us who date back to 84 Mass. Ave. – as well as those whose history is even longer than that) it would seem an immensely satisfying experience to see the material manifestation of how far our modest beginnings have come. The previously published descriptions of the facility sound grand indeed, but to see it together would be a kick!

Could we set up a special event, either before the Reunion day itself (or after) to get those of us who would like to join in this kind of outing over to the new site together? What think you? Fondly, Don Hallock

1/11/2006 – From Fred Barzyk

I will look into how far the building will be up. I know they are going to show us a video/computer animation of what it is to look like. Even if it is just a hole in the ground lets go look. Happy 2006!

1/24/2006 – From Allan “Hindy” Hinderstein

Greetings from the other coast.

How about starting the day at the 84 Mass. Ave site and then traveling over to the new site, even it it’s a hole in the ground? Take care all.

1/30/2006 – From Ralph Schuetz (WGBH: 1968-1972)

…Nancy and I will almost certainly be there. We hadn’t made any firm plans for the summer yet but we’ve had Boston and beyond on our “things to do” list for a while. Heading up in July sounds perfect. It’ll be a bit warmer! (In search of warmth before then, we’re flying to Barbados tomorrow for a week-long cruise of the southern Caribbean. We have a very short “things-do-do” list and most of it is travel!)

Thanks for your efforts to keep the WGBH spirit alive. It’s much appreciated. We’ll look forward to more information on the web or by email. I can’t say I have any grand ideas to share at this point, having just seen the announcement, but I’m sure we’ll be around on Friday evening as well as Saturday so if something gets planned for that night, count us in. (I can’t way I ever went to the Zebra Lounge so Saturday night’s REALLY old timer’s event might be too nostalgic even for me!)

2/2/2006 – From Fred Barzyk

There is growing interest in having people travel to the site of the old WGBH, 84 Mass Ave. and then going to the new site. So, here is the plan. I will rent a school bus ( or other such vehicle) which will be at 125 Western Ave. at 11:30 on the day of the reunion. Those alumni who would like to take “The Magical Memory Tour” would board the bus and hopefully be back by 12:30 for further reunion hugs and laughter. I would take along the large photo of the old building and we could hold it up where it once stood (now MIT coop), tell a quick memory to a camera and audio person I’ll bring along. Then off to the new location with a picture of the new building (it will not be completely built by July). This tape would be run at the reunion in Studio A for all to see. What do you think?

2/3/2006 – From Chris Pullman

…can do. The fire has caused it to melt a little. (Actually, was it the fire or the not fire picture you want?)

2/3/2006 – From Conrad White

Yes! I’m with Emily. A Great Idea! “A Magical Memory Tour”. We can leave a Wreath, install a Plaque, bury a Time Capsule, ‘Say a few appropriate words’, etc.; or whatever, something!! Fred, you can Produce it, Olivia can PA, Atwood can Direct it, Charette & LeCain can shoot the video, [Hoving can shoot it in film for the long-term Archive Record], Mr. Norton can bring along a few Lowel Lights to make sure there are enough ‘Lumens’, Randy & Jim can Grip & Gaffer. [Alright, ALRIGHT! If you ask nicely, I’ll Floor Manage it.] Cosel & McFadden can do the ‘Post’ with Troland as PA, and Ron Della Chiesa can do the voice-overs. Fairweather, Mehlman, and Krol can keep all of the ‘assorted parts’ working but; who is going to do AUDIO?? We will have to have Potter find (assign!), someone. And last, but not least, Hinderstein and Mugar can pay for it. Sounds like ‘A Plan’ to me! :^)

At-A-Way-To-Go Al & Don!

2/3/2006 – From Dan Beach

I will happily volunteer to coil cables under the watchful eye of Bob Moscone. Oh I forgot, we don’t have cables any more. I’m sure he’ll think of something.

2/2/2006 – From Emily Lovering

Fabulous idea, Fred. OH how Wonderful to see all your names! Wish I could see each one of you right this minute. Instead I get to see nine dog guests snoring on the floor, then a dozen old horses who hoof around with disabled kids. Life’s gotten rather….rural.

Standing by to be more useful re reunion than I have been to date. Aiming for SC soon to giggle with Elizabeth Lackey and Kay Bohn of Ed Div late 60’s. Anyone remember them?

2/3/2006 – From Al Potter

Mention 84 Mass Ave and Al Hinderstein and I immediately remember the day Al and I were sitting on the steps at MIT opposite 84 Mass. All was groaning about his wedding arrangements. He told me he was going to see the Rabbi that night to decide, among other things, the color of the yarmulkes that were being provided by the temple for the wedding. I asked him what his

choices were because I thought black was the accepted color. “No”, said Al, “we’re going to have either white or red.” “Oh”, said I, “what’s the difference?” “About a nickel,” says Al.

I also have a great Al Hinderstein story that took place during a Science Reporter shoot at the Natick Army Test Center, but that is for another time.

2/10/2006 – From Ralph Schuetz

First, after reading the lengthy list of missing persons and the shorter but sadder list of friends and co-workers who have passed away, I almost have to wonder who’s left? Seriously, it’s great to see postings from such old friends (and bosses!) as Al Hinderstein, Alan Potter and Conrad White, whose mention of all kinds of folks brought back lots of memories. (I want to volunteer to log the video into the media library. I’d have said “videotape” and “tape library” but I know that’s soooo uncool!) I look forward to lots more message postings when the word of the reunion gets out.

Second, I followed Fred’s Nooz link to the posting of the new building webcam and subsequently surfed most (if not all) of the campaign web site, Wow! Henry Becton looks good with a hard hat, and that’s going to be one beautiful new facility…not unlike 125 Western Avenue when I was hired (thank you Jack Caldwell and Al Hinderstein) in 1968. Of course I couldn’t miss the fundraising appeal. So I thought…I owe a lot to WGBH, where I started my 37 year career in public television. I haven’t been a “member” of WGBH since we left Boston in 1972, but I’ve always been so proud of my association with the station. To this day I don’t fail to mention my start there when people ask me what I did before I retired. I feel about WGBH much the same way I feel about Lawrence University, from which I graduated in 1964, and to which I’ve been contributing every year since. While I haven’t yet thought about “how much,” I know I want to contribute to the WGBH Campaign. And they didn’t even have to ask!

2/14/2006 – From Fred Barzyk

I went into the station on Monday for a meeting about the mass email and found that the station had closed because of the snow storm. I don’t ever remember when the station would shut itself down because of the weather… except for the big one in 1978. Anyway, talking to one of the engineers I found out that Bill Fairweather had retired three weeks ago. I asked if anything had been done for him and he said a little something by the engineers. I thought you all would like to know about this as another of our older engineers leave the ship.

2/14/2006 – From Al Potter

Seems like another lunch may be in order! I know Bennie and Gordon will be packing it in soon, too. Bill, Bennie and Gordon have certainly supported us well over the years and deserve more than just a fond farewell. Why don’t we combine the three for a lunch, a la Chaz?

What sayest thou?

GBH closed because of the weather? Never heard of such a thing. I can remember trooping in during much worse storms, but then, I walked to school in snow three feet high for five miles up hill both ways when I was a lad.

2/27/2006 – From Tony Saletan

The 2006 reunion website sez:

“… we know that some of you, while at the reunion, might like to watch productions that are in the WGBH archives.”

One production that comes to mind is the little fund-raiser, shot in the Cahners room, with David Ives singing the fund-raising song he had written. Staff members around the table wear grimaces that reveal their pain. It ends with a weak round of polite applause.

Secondly, I wonder whether the WGBH archives includes any of the on-location WGBH productions (perhaps a half-hour each in length?) done I think in the 1960s, in which I was local host and singer/guitarist/banjoist. The ones I have in mind were aired in two ways: as in-school TV “Field Trip Specials” broadcast in MA, NH and RI, and also nationally as segments within episodes of National Educational Television’s “What’s New” series (out of Chicago, I think). The locations that come to mind are:

  • The Charles W. Morgan (the last of the old wooden whalers) at Mystic Seaport, CT;
  • Plymouth Plantation (and maybe the Mayflower III?),
  • Fort Ticonderoga (some of which we actually shot at Castle Island – shhh!),
  • Paul Revere’s Boston,
  • Saugus Ironworks,
  • The Shaker Community in New Lebanon, NY and Hancock, MA,
  • The Museum of Transportation in Brookline
  • Concord Bridge,
  • USS Constitution,
  • Old Sturbridge Village

…and there may have been others, but my memory brings up only these at the moment.

Please let me know whether a copy of any of these exists in the archives, and when it or they can be shown.

Addendum: I’ve written to Mary Ide at the WGBH Archives (and received replies from her and Keith Luf) and apparently WGBH does have a copy of the David Ives piece taped in the Cahners room. I think that one is a good candidate for showing, because it’s quite short and shows lots of gbh staff. I personally would like to get a copy (for viewing by my progeny) of the others (as well as the Ives/Cahners one).

6/19/2006 – From Ed Salners and Barbra Eaton

Just read the Bulletin Board and my mind was transported back 46 years to one of the greatest experiences of work and friendship. 1960-61 was a time that gave me a great set of names remember and to “name drop.”

I can remember working on the crew of studio clips with Tony Saletan. And then there was Boris Goldovsky’s production of a Baroque opera in studio A at 84 Mass Ave. Little did I know then that I’d become an operaphile and cherish the delightful appearances of Boris on Met radio. For the last six year’s my 5th grade class has had a partnership with Washington National Opera through which the class works with opera professionals to create, write, compose, stage, and perform their own original opera.

Al Potter brought to mind the windy walks across the Mass Ave Bridge from and to the third floor walk-up apartment on Newbury Street I shared with Al Hinderstein’s and Dave Williams. The rent was cheap and food was supplemented with “relief packages” from Hindy’s family and on one occasion, food from the final shoot party of the series with Eleanor Roosevelt that Hindy worked on. About 15 years ago I took my son on a tour of Boston and we went by that apartment — it was an expensive boutique!

Ironically my last day at WGBH was to have been on the night of the fire. I can remember nostalgically walking through the studios and staging area before I left. I had planned to finish my research paper for the BU Master’s in Mass Comm. The next morning as I was coming home on the Commonwealth Avenue street after dropping my car off at a service station when I looked at the headline of the Boston Globe across the aisle and read: “WGBH Destroyed.” I never finished my research paper, I had a greater loyalty to the station than to my degree. I don’t recall how many days the station was off the air. Not many. The remote bus the engineers had cobbled together to give the station flexibility and resources had an even greater purpose now and the studio provided by the Archdiocese of Boston and WHDH-TV meant that more staff members would be needed.

In February of the next year I began Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport RI at the suggestion of Kent Pelot who had started in the class before me. I had told Kent that I liked educational broadcasting, but that I wanted to be in management and in radio rather than TV. Kent said. ” See the Navy recruiter and become an officer. It is only three years, and you’ll be that much older and have all sorts of middle management experience.” Well, 21 years later I retired and began what is now a 22-year career in teaching.

6/25/2006 – From Carole Ashcraft

Michael Ambrosino recently wrote to inform me of your upcoming Alumni Reunion July 15th, 2006. What an exciting event that will be! Regrettably I am unable to attend. However, I would like to ask if you would be so kind as to add my name and contact information to your list for next year’s event. I’ll not miss that one I promise you!

In 1971, I was hired by Michael as production secretary in the creation of a new science series later to be called “NOVA.” What a wonderful and exciting time for all of us as our NOVA family grew into one of the closest, most creative and hardest working teams I have ever been associated with. Michael was a sheer joy to work with and a patient teacher every step of the way. With his drive, guidance, total belief in both the project and crew and the solid production foundation he laid for NOVA, there is no question why NOVA has truly earned the right to be recognized today as one of the ? if not the most successful series PBS has ever known. Not only do I feel privileged that I played a small part in the creation of this wonderful series, but I’m also very proud that NOVA continues to bring such enjoyment and knowledge to so many the world over now just as it did with it’s first show.

I have saved many items from the origination of NOVA. Some include the original announcement published in TV Guide about our time slot and first airing; the only photo (B&W Polaroid) that I believe exists of our original 18 member team (taken in Michael’s office — spur of the moment) and a copy of our first script ? “Where Did The Colorado Go.” I would be proud to donate these items to your archives … just let me know if you have an interest.

Enjoy your event … how I wish I could join you!

7/13/2006 – From Don Hallock

Dear friends:

Here’s wishing you an ecstatic celebration. It was my most fervent desire to be there with you, but the fates disagreed. I hope it’s a beautiful bash.

Please send me disks (stills and videos) if possible. I hope, upon sufficient recovery, to continue the Web site, as I have quite a lot more material.

Until later – my love to all.

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